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How to Proceed in Contested and Uncontested Divorces

Posted on in Divorce

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1901549803.jpgPublic Act 99-90 (SB 57) amended the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act and related statutes, eliminating fault-based divorce. Effective January 1, 2016, Illinois became a no-fault state, meaning that a spouse cannot be blamed for a divorce even if the spouse committed infidelity or mental abuse. A no-fault divorce denotes an irretrievably broken marriage. As opposed to at-fault divorces, no-fault grounds allege irreconcilable differences, which may diminish the emotional strife related to the dissolution of a family.

Illinois divorces are either contested or uncontested. When spouses who cannot agree on one or more divorce issues, this is called a contested divorce. Iin an uncontested divorce, both spouses agree on the divorce terms. Obliviously, divorces without disputes are cost-effective because, unlike a contested divorce, an uncontested divorce can promptly proceed. Unfortunately, agreement on all issues is not always possible. 

Six Procedures in a Contested Divorce

High net-worth or complex contested divorces often necessitate expert witnesses, such as a financial advisor or a forensic accountant. Contested divorces will typically undergo the following steps:

  • The parties collect all financial documents, including tax returns, retirement account statements, bills, and debts.

  • The parties contact divorce attorneys and begin to strategize.

  • The petitioner files for dissolution of marriage and informs the other spouse of the intent to divorce.

  • The discovery stage of the divorce involves discovering and revealing marital and non-marital property, debts, alimony plans, and custody arrangements.

  • A settlement is reached through negotiations.

  • If a settlement is not reached, divorcing parties go to trial; however, this rarely happens.

Procedures in an Uncontested Divorce

An uncontested divorce is more straightforward and cost-effective than a contested one. A mediator can help resolve disputes and help the couple avoid litigation. First, the divorce petition is filed with the court and served to the other party. Next, the parties negotiate a divorce settlement that includes the division of property, division of debts, spousal maintenance, and child custody and visitation. A mediator can help the spouses discuss divorce issues and reach an agreement. The parties attorneys can also help them determine the best way to handle asset division and other divorce concerns. 

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer  

The attorneys at Pesce Law Group P.C., a full-service family and divorce law firm, are proficient in the complexities of uncontested and contested divorce issues. Our divorce lawyers aggressively strategize to secure favorable settlements.  Still, we understand the delicate nature of divorce, and we are thoughtful and sensitive to our clients and their family’s needs.  For a free consultation, contact a Burr Ridge divorce lawyer at 630-230-1002.

Sources:

https://www.cookcountycourt.org/Portals/0/Domestic%20Relations%20Division/Seminar%20Materials/DR.PA%2099-90%20(SB.pdf?msclkid=9c6e004dcff111ec8debf0047cde755a

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=3700000&SeqEnd=5200000

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